Planting for the Season
As we have all notice spring came early this year and has remained beautiful since it came. The warm weather has kept us busy preparing everything for this years season. We have been working the land and planting our crops for the season. We have planted our strawberries, all 90,000 plants with the help of many hands. Several plantings of sweet corn, broccoli & cauliflower, beans and peas have all been put in the ground. We are also trying a few new things this year, trying to keep up with the trends. We have planted Haskaps , Arugula, and Min Ching Choy, (Look for a future blog about these new crops!)
Overall the farm has transformed from dirt fields to green very quickly. Most of our crops, love the temperatures we are having this year. And we are looking forward to providing some great fresh produce from the fields, to everyone this year.
We plant many of our crops on a plastic layer, to help maintain warm soil temperatures, reduce weeds and reduce the amount of water used. Plants that like warmer temperatures, such as tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, cucumbers and zucchini all get planted on black plastic. But strawberries prefer cooler temperature, so we plant our day-neutral strawberries on white plastic. Which is a huge job, we planted all 45, 000 by hand. So in reality is was over a week of working bent over, planting all the strawberries.
This year for the black plastic we got a new planter, called a water wheel, which made planting a dream. The water wheel makes a hole and waters the plant, and then we sit behind and but the plant plug in the hole and close it up. This new planter is so slick we just needed 3 people to plant all the tomatoes, and other plants. Last year we planted all these plants by hand as well, which was a huge job, we had to measure and make the wholes, plant the plant and then water each one by hand. This new machine saved about 7 people and a week over hand planting. A farmers dream!
In the spring we use floating row covers on crops to help increase the temperature, to help give plants a head start when it is cool. The floating row covers are a giant thin blanket (like a bounty sheet) that we roll out over the fields. The blankets lay over the plants, and allow light to transmit and retain heat. These blankets perform a miracle in advancing the crops. We used blankets on broccoli and cauliflower, strawberries and sweet corn this year. This is picture of sweet corn, which was planted on the same day, same hour and is the same variety. The difference is that the plant on the left was under a floating row cover and the plant on the right was under no blanket. The contrast is amazing isn’t it!! This advancement in the plants under the blankets will mean sweet corn will be ready earlier.
I can’t wait sink my teeth into a fresh cob of sweet corn.